Holy Hour & Benediction
etween exposition & benediction,
we spend time in adoration (worship) either silently or using words or song. If this time is extended to an hour, it is often called a â€œHoly Hourâ€? (see Mt 26:40). 1
EXPOSITION The priest or deacon exposes the Blessed Sacrament and incenses it. The following hymn, or another, is sung.
O salutaris hostia quae cĂŚli pandis ostium: bella premunt hostilia da robur, fer auxilium. Uni trinoque Domino sit sempiterna gloria: qui vitam sine termino nobis donet in patria. Amen. O saving victim, opening wide the gate of heaven to man below: our foes press on from every side, thine aid supply, thy strength bestow. To thy great name be endless praise, immortal Godhead, one in three: O grant us endless length of days in our true native land with thee. Amen.
There now may follow a reading from Scripture, such as the following:
Scripture Reading: Jn 6:35
Jesus said: ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.’ or: Mt 28:20 Jesus said: ‘And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’
Silent Prayer & Adoration
Now we spend time in silent prayer before the Eucharistic Lord. During longer periods of Adoration appropriate scripture readings, litanies or reflections may be used.
BENEDICTION As the time of Adoration draws to an end, the priest or deacon kneels before the Blessed Sacrament and incenses it. The following hymn, or another, is sung:
Tantum ergo sacramentum veneremur cernui, et antiquum documentum novo cedat ritui; 3
prĂŚstet fides supplementum sensuum defectui.
Genitori Genitoque laus et iubilatio, salus, honor, virtus quoque sit et benedictio; procedenti ab utroque compar sit laudatio. Amen. Therefore we, before him bending, this great Sacrament revere. Types and shadows have their ending for the newer rite is here. Faith, our outward sense befriending, makes the inward vision clear.
Glory let us give, and blessing to the Father and the Son, honour, might and praise addressing while eternal ages run; ever, too, his love confessing who from both, with both is one. Amen.
Panem de cĂŚlo prĂŚstitisti eis (alleluia) Omne delectamentum in se habentem (alleluia) You have given them bread from heaven (alleluia) Containing in itself all goodness (alleluia) 4
Oremus. Deus, qui nobis sub Sacramento mirabili Passionis tuæ memoriam reliquisti: tribue, quæsumus, ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis tui sacra mysteria venerari ut redemptionis tuæ fructum in nobis iugiter sentiamus. Qui vivis et regnas in sæcula sæculorum. Amen. Let us pray. O God, who in this wonderful sacrament have left us a memorial of your passion, help us, we beseech you, so to reverence the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in our lives the fruits of your redemption. Who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen. Now the priest or deacon puts on the humeral veil and, taking up the Blessed Sacrament, blesses the congregation.
The Divine Praises
These are traditionally said now; they may also be used earlier, during the time of Adoration. Blessed be God Blessed be his holy name Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man Blessed be the name of Jesus Blessed be his most Sacred Heart Blessed be his most Precious Blood Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception Blessed be her glorious Assumption Blessed be the name of Mary, virgin and mother Blessed be St Joseph, her spouse most chaste Blessed be God in his angels and in his saints
REPOSITION The Blessed Sacrament is now reposed in the tabernacle. The following may now be sung:
Adoremus in æternum sanctissimum Sacramentum. Let us adore for ever the Most Holy Sacrament.
Laudate Dominum omnes gentes, laudate eum omnes populi. Quoniam confirmata est super nos misericordia eius et veritas Domini manet in æternum. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen. O praise the Lord all you nations, acclaim him all you peoples. For his mercy is confirmed upon us and the truth of the Lord remains for ever. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Adoremus in æternum sanctissimum Sacramentum. Let us adore for ever the Most Holy Sacrament. 7
PRAYERS TO THE VIRGIN MARY A Holy Hour might finish with these, according to local custom. The Angelus, Rosary, or Memorare might be said, or a suitable hymn sung.
Prayer for England
O blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England your dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in you. By you it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world, and he has given you to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us your children whom you did receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the chief shepherd, the Vicar of your Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God together with you in our heavenly home. Amen.
Cover image: Pantocrator - Orthodox icon of sitting Christ with open bible. © Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock.com. Inside: Orthodox icon of Madonna and Child. © Mayamaya/Shutterstock.com.
Published 2018, layout, design © 2018 the Incorporated Catholic Truth Society, London SE11 5AY. Collect text © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy. All rights reserved.